Cryptomeria japonica 'Nana Albospica' / White-tipped dwarf Japanese cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Nana Albospica' is a dwarf selection of Japanese cedar with very dense, drooping branches with nodding tips. New growth all white or white variegated, later becoming light green. Plants tend to burn in full sun. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 40 inches (1 m) tall and wide an annual growth rate of 4 inches (20 cm).

This cultivar is thought to have been first formally described and named in 1968 by Den Ouden and Boom in Manual of Cultivated Conifers hardy in the Cold- and Warm-temperature Zone. If this is proven to be true, it is illegitimately named, despite being well-known and long-established in the nursery trade. Potential synonyms include 'Albospica,' 'Argenteospicata' and 'Argenteovariegata.' These plants are virtually indistinguishable and have likely been mixed up by the nurseries producing them. Many authors cite 'Okina' as yet another synonym in the trade. This could very well be this conifer's original Japanese name, meaning it should be accepted as the correct cultivar name.

Cryptomeria japanica 'Nana Albospica' seen in summer 2002 at Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, USA.
Photo by Bill Barger
Cryptomeria japanica 'Nana Albospica' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger